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Metal and Plastic Patternmaker

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Life As a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker

Occupation Description Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

Life As a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

  • Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, compute dimensions, and plan operational sequences.
  • Design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.
  • Mark identification numbers or symbols onto patterns or templates.
  • Paint or lacquer patterns.
  • Clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
  • Apply plastic-impregnated fabrics or coats of sealing wax or lacquer to patterns used to produce plastic.

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Needed Skills

When polled, Metal and Plastic Patternmakers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Jobs

  • Computer Patternmaker
  • Pattern Mechanic
  • Plastics Patternmaker
  • Stencil Cutter
  • Template Maker

Is There Going to be Demand for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers?

In the United States, there were 3,400 jobs for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker. The BLS estimates 300 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker are Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon. Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, North Carolina, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Metal and Plastic Patternmakers Salary

The salary for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers ranges between about $28,890 and $67,250 a year.


Metal and Plastic Patternmakers who work in Kansas, Oregon, or Indiana, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,390
California $46,870
Colorado $35,030
Florida $43,260
Georgia $44,880
Illinois $52,860
Indiana $50,250
Iowa $53,740
Kansas $59,450
Michigan $48,580
Minnesota $47,830
New York $49,640
North Carolina $35,380
Ohio $45,470
Oregon $63,180
Pennsylvania $47,430
South Carolina $47,620
Tennessee $50,600
Texas $41,190
Wisconsin $47,070

Tools & Technologies Used by Metal and Plastic Patternmakers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Metal and Plastic Patternmakers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • Mastercam

Becoming a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

What kind of Metal and Plastic Patternmaker requirements are there?


What work experience do I need to become a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker?


Where do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers Work?


Below are examples of industries where Metal and Plastic Patternmakers work:


Those thinking about becoming a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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